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Points of Order

Volume 548: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2012

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Yesterday, and again this morning, Health Ministers made a series of inaccurate statements. What powers exist under Standing Orders for you to ask them to return to the House and correct inaccurate figures on NHS budgets, delayed discharges and accident and emergency waiting times?

The short answer to the hon. Gentleman’s attempted point of order is that answers to questions are the responsibility of Ministers. Similarly, in the event of an inaccuracy known to the Minister, it is the Minister’s responsibility to correct the record. The hon. Gentleman is a determined and persistent chap, and I feel sure that he will pursue the path of righteousness to his satisfaction. If he remains dissatisfied, no doubt we shall hear from him again.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. In response to a question on 11 July, the Health Secretary told me that local government was being given sufficient funding to cope with provisions in the new social care White Paper, but on the same day the Local Government Association released a statement saying:

“there won’t be enough money to provide these services to anyone other than the most needy, or those who can afford to pay for all of their own care.”

In the interests of accuracy, will the Secretary of State correct the record?

I am sorry to disappoint the hon. Lady, but in material terms my reply does not differ in content from that which I just offered the hon. Member for Copeland (Mr Reed). It is, at least in part, a matter of interpretation. I said that the hon. Gentleman was a persistent chap, but she is a persistent woman, and I feel sure that she will pursue this matter in a way she judges fit.

I shall now call the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone) to make an application for leave to propose a debate on a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration under the terms of Standing Order No. 24. The hon. Gentleman has three minutes in which to make such an application.